With on-board entertainment and the ability to sightsee without hopping hotels, more families are opting for cruises for their family vacation. Modern cruise lines are family-focused, offering passengers of any age plenty to see and do, including families traveling with teenagers. Before you book your high-seas getaway, discover the five best cruises for teens, from cruise ships that feature teen clubs to cruises that offer teen-only excursions.
Disney Cruise Line
A ride on Disney Cruise Lines is truly a family vacation for the whole family — including the teens. On the pool deck, teens can join the family for evening deck parties to enjoy one of Disney’s hit movies, or retreat to one of the teen areas, such as one located in the ship’s non-functioning funnels. Boasting “no parents allowed,” oversize couches, big-screen TVs and a private soft drink and smoothie bar is located right inside the teen lounge. Music, Internet access, board games and events from karaoke to dance classes offer entertainment for even the most finicky teens, while classic Disney fun, such as meeting Disney characters onboard can keep younger siblings happy.
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Carnival Cruise Line
As if a pool-side movie experience wasn’t cool enough, Carnival Cruises offer teens-only dance clubs, a first-day mixer, ping-pong tournaments and game nights for social teen travelers. On-board teen spa services and teen shore excursions are also offered on many of Carnival’s cruise ships. Or teens can relax with a round of miniature golf on the ship’s highest level.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls, miniature golf, a basketball court, and teens-only facilities can help your teenager feel like she can customize her own vacation on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Teen-only lounges are perfect for chilling out, while well-known eateries such as Ben and Jerry’s and Johnny Rockets offer the perfect place for hungry teens to fuel up. Teen-focused programs are separated into younger teens and older teens when it comes to activities such as karaoke, parties and sports tournaments.
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Norwegian Cruise Line
Whether your teen loves to dance the night away at the teen-only club or lose herself in the on-board arcade, there’s entertainment and activities for every teen personality aboard Norwegian Cruises. Does your teen love the limelight? A Junior Star Seeker competition lets teen cruisers compete for a free cruise and a chance to perform for the cruise ship’s passengers, while basketball courts, ping-pong and bowling alleys give active teens a chance to get their game on. Afternoon pizza and dance parties and a farewell party on the last evening of your cruise give your teen plenty of chances to be social.
Princess Cruises is another good choice for a family vacation that includes family members of varying ages. In particular, teens can hit the gym or miniature golf course or head to the teen centers, giving older kids a private whirlpool, sun deck, big-screen TV, video games, jukeboxes, and more. After a day of hanging with their peer group, teens and parents can score some family time at the cruises’ outdoor movie theatre. Flexible dining options also give teens the choice of eating with the family or dining with their newfound friends — with parents’ permission, of course.
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When traveling with teens, cruise lines with shorter itineraries may be your best bet, taking your teen’s busy schedule — and personality — into consideration. When you climb aboard one of these five best cruises for teens, you can’t guarantee a vacation free of teen drama, but you’re sure to embark on a family vacation that will keep everyone in your family happy so you can focus on relaxing!